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2016 Volkswagen Touareg: New Lower Price, No More Hybrid

2015 Volkswagen Touareg TDI

Only just refreshed last year, Volkswagen’s Touareg crossover is being given a few minor equipment tweaks for 2016. More important, those changes accompany a hefty, roughly $2000 price reduction across the Touareg’s lineup. With a new base price of $42,705—$2090 less than before—the Touareg still isn’t the bargain hunter’s choice among mid-size two-row SUVs with a luxurious bent (we’re looking’ at you, Jeep Grand Cherokee, Nissan Murano, and Ford Edge), but the reduced MSRP is welcome nonetheless. Oh, and the salesproof Touareg Hybrid is dead.

Even priced higher than the competition, the Touareg justifies the spend, feeling particularly luxurious and upscale compared with alternates such as the Ford Edge or Nissan Murano, even if the gap has narrowed with those two crossovers’ recent redesigns. Happily, the VW’s $2000 price cut comes with no significant reduction in content—in fact, there’s a bit more. Lux models now include 14-way power seats with built-in ventilation. The Executive trim levels add those same seats, as well as a power-adjustable steering column, forward-collision warning with emergency automatic braking, adaptive cruise control, and lane-departure warning. Both offer a new 21-inch wheel option. And finally, park distance control is added to the Driver Assistance package on Touareg Sport with the tech package.



About that hybrid: On sale since 2011, the gas-electric Touareg mated a supercharged V-6 engine to an electric motor embedded in its transmission to achieve a lackluster 20 mpg in the city and 24 on the highway. While that city figure marked an improvement over the base gas and diesel Touaregs, the highway figure was barely higher than the gas model’s and four mpg down on the diesel. This nominal improvement came at a cost—a whooping $22,290 surcharge over a base V-6 Touareg, and $14,750 above the lowliest diesel’s price. While VW positioned the hybrid at the Touareg lineup’s summit, and the SUV indeed was satisfyingly quick, its marginal EPA-rated fuel-economy bump was nowhere near impressive enough to justify the outlay. Even so, we voted the hybrid the winner in a Touareg hybrid-vs.-Touareg TDI comparison test in 2011, but we were mostly smitten by the former’s burly powertrain, not so much its value proposition or it conservationist abilities.

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